Did you have a good Easter? On Saturday Derek and I drove to Exeter for a three day break. After Friday’s superb weather, we were hoping for walks in the sunshine and feeling warmer now that Spring has arrived.
The day before, my elder son and his fiancé Toni had arrived for a long weekend to visit my sister and younger son. This was Toni's first visit to Exeter and she was very impressed from the word go! Let me start with the first of my Top 10 recommended attractions.
Walking in the sunshine on Good Friday, the Quay was buzzing with tourists and locals alike. The River Exe is situated here and many boating activities take place. Toni decided she wanted to go kayaking! They then walked around the Quay and enjoyed refreshments outside in one of the many delightful cafes.
Toni getting ready to go kayaking!
Toni even managed to kayak!
James enjoying refreshments at one of the many quayside cafes
2. Exeter Cathedral
The Cathedral is situated in the heart of the city, only a few minutes walk from the bus station. There is no parking near the Cathedral but taxis do drop passengers off very near the entrance. It is a magnificent building and although the weather was inclement on Saturday when we visited, it was still a great experience walking around and admiring the architecture. There are guided tours and many events throughout the year and a cafe is located inside.
3. Shopping in Exeter
Can you resist??
There are three main shopping centres, Princeshay, Guildhall and Harlequins. We have walked around all three and the diversity and choice of shops is easily as good, if not better than London in my opinion and certainly a joy, not a chore as the capital city is! We spent some of Saturday afternoon window shopping and Toni treated us to some rather special cakes from Pattiserie Valerie. Forget the diet if you try these!
4. Exeter Museum
RAMM Exeter Photo copyright Margaret James
This has to be the best museum I have ever visited. RAMM as it is generally known, (Royal Albert Memorial Museum) is fabulous. Do visit if you are in the area. Margaret James has written an article for the website which can be found here. We did not have time to visit, but I have been there on a number of occasions.
5. Eating in Exeter
There are numerous restaurants and cafes throughout Exeter and the choice is endless. We like to go to smaller independent establishments and have always enjoyed excellent food and service.
One of the many cafes - this one in the Cathedral Quarter
Exeter has SO much to offer, a clean friendly, buzzing city and one which never disappoints no matter how often I visit!
And so to Exmouth
1. The Beach
I love Exmouth and its wide sandy beach is fabulous. The wind is often a feature in Exmouth, so be prepared to be blown along the beach if you go walking. Last Sunday it was indeed very rough and wet, but I always enjoy walking one end to the other. I wrote this article at the end of 2014 when I was in Exmouth for one of many breaks I enjoy here.
A wide expanse of sand, that is Exmouth beach
2. The Esplanade
Walking along the Esplanade is always a pleasure. Passing joggers, cyclists, children on scooters, big children (mini adults usually!) on skateboards, people walking their dogs and like us, just plain walking. Smelling the sea, watching people play volleyball on the beach, stopping for a drink in one of the many bars and cafes along the way, At one end there is the RNLI station, at the other the Marina. The walk takes around an hour in total and is so enjoyable. We were nearly swept away Sunday afternoon as the below photo shows!
Very wet and blowy walk last week!
3. Manor Gardens
Situated between the town and the sea are the Manor Gardens, a tranquil place with a bandstand, a cafe, public conveniences (so important don't you think?!) and beautiful flowers and shrubs of all varieties. The different seasons produce many kinds of foliage and in the warmer weather, we often take a picnic and sit on one of the many seats situated throughout the gardens. Last weekend however, the weather turned decidely stormy, so a hurried walk was taken.
4. The Grove
What a great pub this is! We went on Saturday evening for drinks and the atmosphere and friendliness of the locals, human and canine was as good as always. I wrote about The Grove way back in January 2014 and always enjoy coming here.
One cosy nook in The Grove
5. Exmouth to Starcross Ferry
In all the years I have been coming to Exmouth, I must confess that I have NOT taken this crossing yet. I am not that fond of boats, but this is a short 30 minute crossing and runs from Easter through to the end of October each year. I enjoy watching the ferries come and go and have promised Derek that I will be brave one of these days and go on the crossing!
An Exmouth Ferry, reproduced with permission from website